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Five Killed, 18 Injured In Colorado Springs LGBTQ Nightclub Shooting; 911 Call Made On Surviving Roommate's Phone; WH Begins Notifying Approved Student Loan Relief; Biden Celebrates His Birthday And Granddaughter's Wedding; Russia And Ukraine Trade Accusations Of War Crimes; World Cup Matches Begin As Controversy Swirls Around Tournament. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired November 20, 2022 - 14:00   ET




PAULA REID, CNN HOST: Hello. Thanks for joining me. I'm Paula Reid in for Fredricka Whitfield.

Now developing at this hour, police in Colorado are investigating a horrific mass shooting at an LGBTQ night club. The shooting spree began just before midnight at a Club Q in Colorado Springs.

At least five people were killed, another 18 were injured. Several remain in critical condition at this hour. Police have identified a suspect who they say is in custody. They also say two heroic people put an end to the bloodshed by fighting with the shooter.


CHIEF ADRIAN VASQUEZ, COLORADO SPREINGS POLICE DEPARTMENT: Initial evidence and interviews indicate that the suspect entered Club Q and immediately began shooting at people inside as he moved further into the club.

While the suspect was inside of the club at least two heroic people inside the club confronted and fought with the suspect and were able to stop the suspect from continuing to kill and harm others. We owe them a great debt of thanks.


REID: President Biden weighing in on the tragedy this afternoon saying in part, "While no motive in this attack is yet clear, we know that LGBTQI+ community has been subjected to horrific hate violence in recent years. Places that are supposed to be safe havens and acceptance of celebration should never be turned into places of terror and violence, yet it happens far too often. We must drive out the inequities that contribute to violence against LGBTQI people. We cannot and must not tolerate hate."

CNN's Nadia Romero is following this with the latest developments. Nadia, is there any update on the victims at this time? NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Paula. This is

something that so many people are really watching for, what happened to those impacted who were in the night club. We know that five people are dead and at least 18 more were injured and multiple people were taken to the hospital either on their own, in police cars or by ambulances.

At least three hospitals are currently treating people right now, some of them with multiple gunshot wounds. And that number of injured has just been upped to 25. 25 people injured, five people dead -- that just coming in right at this moment.

I want you to hear from two medical professionals to explain what it has taken for them to take care of the people who have been injured.


DR. BILL PLATE, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, PENROSE HOSPITAL: We've taken care of seven members of our community, two remain in critical care but are in excellent hands. The other five patients mainly had extremity injuries and two have already been treated and released back to the community. And then the others have been led to the hospital or still undergoing treatment.

DR. DAVID STEINBRUNER, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, UC HEALTH: We do have patients in critical condition as well, but like anything else, it's a moving target. We have all of our physicians actively taking care of everybody as appropriate depending upon their injuries.


ROMERO: I hear the doctor there saying that there's a moving target on their conditions and the number of those injured because some people may not have reported themselves just yet. So we could see the numbers still change.

The names of those victims have not been released. Police say they need to notify families first. That must happen, then they will release the names of those who were injured or killed in this mass shooting.

We know the name of the suspect though. 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich. And police say they recovered at least two guns in the night club and they say he used a long rifle in that shooting.

They wouldn't go into any further details about that gun, but we do know that that police have this person in custody. That person is still alive at this time. We know that he sustained some sort of injuries. Again, still waiting to learn more about the suspect.

Now the D.A. believes that he acted alone, the district attorney in that area. But when it comes to motive, you heard President Biden's statement that Paula just read saying that we know the LGBTQIA community has been impacted. Hate crimes are something that the FBI will look into as well. They are also investigating, Paula

REID: Nadia Romero, thank you so much for that reporting.

Now, one of those doctors you just heard from joins us now on the phone. Dr. David Steinbruner. He is the chief medical officer at UC Health Memorial Hospital Central where these five victims of this mass shooting are being treated. Doctor, good morning. Thank you so much for being with us. Can you give us an update on the status of the patients at your hospital right now?


STEINBRUNER (via telephone): Sure. Thanks, Paula for allowing me to come. So I'm the chief medical officer and also emergency physician as well. I just want to say everybody in the Colorado Springs community, I just want to -- (INAUDIBLE) our hearts go out to them and I want to thank everybody for their response.

We currently have 11 patients from this incident in our hospital at the moment and we have our trauma team and our surgeons and ICU staff and other people all ready and available to take care of them. There's really a remarkable coordination between the -- first of all EMS, fire department, the police department, everybody on scene applying tourniquets and doing everything they needed to do and then making sure the transition of care to the patients in the hospital is really as seamless as it can be under these circumstances.

And there's a great coordination between the emergency department and the trauma services and the entire staff, RNs and techs and security and everybody else just to make this go as well as it possibly could have.

REID: What are the extent of the injuries of the patients that you have seen already? What is the extent of the injuries that they're suffering at this point?

STEINBRUNER: Well, with respect to people's sort of privacy and to make sure that we don't inadvertently give information out that would be inappropriate, all I could say is that there were multiple gunshot wounds, injuries that we're taking care of. I don't have more specifics than that at this time. But we have many people treating them at this time and taking care of them.

REID: Can you tell us how the patients arrived, when they arrived or what kind of conditions were they -- they seemed? How were they transported? Was it the ambulance? Did they arrive on their own?

STEINBRUNER: Almost exclusively I think it was really through EMS and rapid ambulance transport. There may have been some others who came later, by private vehicle, but for the most part it was an EMS response and they scrambled many ambulances rapidly to transport people off the scene and get them to the various hospitals.

REID: Have you ever dealt with a situation like this before?

STEINBRUNER: Well, personally, I was deployed to Iraq, so I dealt with this quite a bit. But it's unfortunate that hospitals around the United States have become quite adept at this. We have actually gotten very good at taking care of these kinds of patients, which is an unfortunate truth of our society at this day.

REID: It is quite sad that you have to compare your work in a war zone to what happens on a Saturday night at a club here in the United States. Are you coordinating with or giving updates to the police as they process this crime scene? I know that officials have said that they're looking at this through the framework of a possible hate crime. But have you had to work with them at all yet?

STEINBRUNER: I haven't personally worked with them. Obviously there's a lot of law enforcement present and available for this, investigators and the like. So as of right now we're always coordinating with our law enforcement teams in the area so that we can make sure that we do everything that we can to help move things along.

REID: I mean what is your message to Americans, based on what you're seeing there in the hospital or your medical experience, is there any way to prevent this kind of thing from happening?

STEINBRUNER: Well, that's a really difficult question because things like this are multifactorial. I think the message to America is let's talk to each other as a nation, put down our differences and barriers and just be very open and honest and so whatever is happening right now is not acceptable and we need to move on and do something different.

REID: All right. Doctor, thank you so much for joining us.

STEINBRUNER: Absolutely. Thank you, Paula.

REID: And new today, police in Idaho say a 911 call made last week in the deaths of four college students came from a cell phone belonging to one of the surviving roommates. Investigators did not disclose the callers identity citing the ongoing investigation. They also say the call was made from inside the residence.

Now the sick sister of one of the victims tells the "New York Times" that there were seven unanswered calls made from her sister's phone to a former boyfriend during the 2:00 a.m. hour. The sister was able to download those phone logs from her sister's phone provider.

Now, I want to bring in CNN's Camila Bernal. She is live on the scene in Idaho. Camila, so many questions about what is going on here, so few answers in this highly unusual case.

So what are you learning today in these new details about this ongoing investigation?

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well look, first of all a very active scene again today. We're seeing investigators coming in and out of this house going around the back of the house, trying to look around. Clearly there is still a lot of work to be done here.

But we did get new details, a lot of them having to do with the two roommates that were at the house at the time of this attack, but that survived. Authorities in addition to talking about the 911 call they also said that these two girls were out on Saturday night as well. They returned home at around 1:00 in the morning and they were asleep

until later on on Sunday. Now we know that these four victims in this case, they got home at around 2:00 in the morning and two of them, Kaylee and Maddie, they got a ride home. Authorities now saying the driver is not a suspect in this case.


BERNAL: Yes, the "New York Times" reported that after they arrived both Kaylee and Maddie were on the phone apparently, the "New York Times" saying that Kaylee made those seven phone calls, but police officers saying it was both Kaylee and Maddie who were calling a man.

They now say this is all part of this investigation and again there is no suspect, there is no weapon. They're asking businesses around the area to see whether or not they sold a knife recently.

There's been a lot of back and forth, a lot of fear, but there is one thing that authorities continue to say. Here is the state police.


AARON SNELL, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, IDAHO STATE POLICE: We still contend that this was targeted. We cannot divulge the information of why we believe that or how. That is integral to this investigation.


BERNAL: Now initially authorities said there was not a threat to this community. Then they went back and said, well, everybody has to be vigilant because we have not made an arrest in this case.

It is now seven days later so of course, there is frustration and there is fear. Even seven days later authorities still asking businesses and homeowners in the area for surveillance video. They're trying to find any video available between 3:00 -- yes, between 3:00 I believe and 6:00 in the morning on Sunday.

And so, of course, a lot of people this community are wondering why a week later they're still trying to figure all of this out. We have a press conference expected later on this afternoon and waiting to hear more details then, Paula.

REID: Camila Bernal, thank you so much for that reporting.

Now I want to bring in Casey Jordan for perspective on this case. She is a criminologist and an attorney.

All right, Casey, this is an unusual case. It's the talk of the nation. When you consider the facts here -- no signs of forced entry, four gruesome attacks, no sign of sexual assault -- what stands out to you about a possible suspect here?

CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: Well, the police continue to say that they believe that the victims were targeted. And yet this is highly unusual, Paula. We have four victims killed in their beds with what the police now say

was probably a large bowie (ph) style like Rambo-style hunting knife. And that really indicates to me somebody who has been thinking about committing this murder for a while because this was not a knife that was found according to them in the kitchen.

It wasn't a crime of impulse. It probably wasn't somebody who was already in the home. They've ruled out the two roommates who were unharmed and they have reconstructed the timeline to indicate everybody was out, everyone got home between 1:00 and 2:00 in the morning.

And then those phone calls are the latest piece of information, Paula, that we've had that are kind of raising eyebrows. Why would Kaylee and her friend Maddie be calling her former long-time boyfriend over and over. He was asleep. He didn't answer the phone calls.

Had something happened that evening that made them feel unsafe and made them want to reach out to him? That's the biggest mystery I think that they're pursuing right now.

REID: A lot of mysteries here. And obviously, social media can be helpful to investigators. We know they're probably looking at social media. They're also looking for surveillance footage from that night. How will they use that kind of material to help try to solve what happened here? What can you learn from social media and, of course, surveillance footage?

JORDAN: A lot. We call that the digital footprint. And of course, you know, people even say that Kaylee would have called anyone in the middle of the night and people who knew her best through her social media and through her habits are going to be reconstructing what happened.

Was there anyone who was stalking her, had a beef with her, was watching her online? I believe that it will be video footage and/or DNA that's going to lead them to the suspect.

Remember, a lot of people now have these doorbell cameras. A lot of people have security cameras. Vehicles going along the street. It's very unlikely that somebody came on foot and disappeared on foot, although it's possible.

And so as they reconstruct social media and put an appeal out, I think a little too late, it's been a week now and they're just now asking people to check their security cameras, that and/or DNA, to an unknown person that they may have identified at that crime scene will probably lead them to the suspect.

REID: And that's so interesting. It's amazing how these ring cameras and other surveillance cameras have really been so helpful to law enforcement.

We know that some of these victims had defensive wounds, though we don't know who yet or how many. What do you make of that? JORDAN: Well, the police are being very close lipped as we know, but

the father of one of the young ladies has said that she had bruises and defensive wounds, and he seems very proud to think that she would have fought hard, that she was a tough kid, he called her.

They do believe that this was a very messy crime scene, if you will. Disorganized. And given the fact that they believe all of them were asleep it's possible that each of them was surprised and died as they were being awakened by the attack.


JORDAN: Again, you had two other young women in this house who slept through the whole thing and discovered it the next day. So whoever was in that house it's very likely had been in the house before, knew his way around. You know, they indicate there's a digital keypad on the front door but many, many people have lived in this house over the year. It's a classic student rental house who would have known the code.

And there's conjecture that perhaps the offender entered through the back door, the sliders which may have been left unlocked.

Either way it seems that this attacker probably knew the victims, targeted them specifically. The big question that remains is why.

REID: The city is home to about 26,000 people. What would you tell that community? I mean, right now they've told people that this was likely a targeted attack. Do you think that this is something that still potentially poses a threat to the community?

JORDAN: Yes. 26,000 people, but half of them are the students at the university. A university my own father went to. so when you think about who could be responsible it is most likely, I give you odds of more than 90 percent that it is somebody in the community, perhaps a fellow student, but somebody known in some small capacity perhaps to the victims. That's the most likely, according to statistics on similar crimes.

There is the possibility of an outlier, a complete stranger passing through town, maybe somebody who saw the girls entering the house coming home from, you know, the bar at 2:00 in the morning. That is really rare but it does happen.

It has happened in Idaho before in Coeur d'Alene with Joseph Duncan. It happened with Ted Bundy attacking sorority sisters. And Danny Rawling (ph) attacking killing five random students in Gainesville, Florida almost 30 years ago.

So it can be the truth that they are looking for someone, a targeted attack, and yet we can't rule out the fact that it could be a stranger who still poses a threat to that community or anyone.

REID: Well, Casey Jordan, a lot of questions in this very unusual and disturbing case. Thank you so much for your analysis.

JORDAN: Good to be here.

REID: And two men have been arraigned on charges relating to online threats against a New York City synagogue. According to court documents, 21-year-old Christopher Brown was arraigned today on charges of making a terroristic threat and other weapons charges. The Manhattan district attorney's office tells CNN Brown was denied bail.

22-year-old Matthew Mar was arraigned late Saturday and is facing weapons charges. The D.A. says bail was set at $150,000 cash or a $300,000 bond.

Still to come, the Biden administration is starting to let people know if they're approved for student debt relief. There's just one problem, they can't actually give out the money. Details ahead.

Plus, after months of controversy and criticism, the World Cup has kicked off in Qatar. We'll tell you how the host nation fared in the opening match against Ecuador.



REID: Well, the Biden administration isn't letting legal challenges stop them from letting people know they're approve for student debt relief. The Education Department just started notifying applicants that their requests have been approved, but with one important caveat. They can't actually give them the money just yet because of legal challenges to the program.

CNN's Jeremy Diamond joins us now.

All right Jeremy. You feel for these people. They've applied for relief, they're getting notice that they're going to get it but they're not because this is tied up in all of these legal challenges. I mean why the administration sending out these e-mails?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's a whole lot of uncertainty right now because on the hand, they're being notified, you have been approved for this Loan Forgiveness Program, but the administration also saying we have no idea when or if that will actually come to pass.

The Biden administration beginning to notify just yesterday 16 of the 26 million people who applied for this program who were accepted and approved for this program. In an e-mail to those borrowers, the Education Secretary Miguel Cardona saying, quote, "Unfortunately a number of lawsuits have been filed challenging the program, which have blocked our ability to discharge your debt at present. We believe strongly that the lawsuits are meritless and the department of Justice has appealed on our behalf."

The Education Secretary goes on to say, that the government will, indeed, forgive that debt if and when the administration prevails in court. That is very much up in the air right now. Earlier in the week the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an

injunction against this program. On Friday the Biden administration appealing that decision to the Supreme Court and asking that this program be allowed to proceed while those legal challenges still play out in court. So we will see how that shakes out.

There's also this other question about that moratorium on repaying student debt which has been in effect throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. That moratorium was set to expire on January 1st when this student debt relief program went into effect.

But now big questions about whether or not that's going to take place. The White House press secretary on Friday said that the president is looking at all available options to provide relief. Not clear yet whether they will extend that moratorium or not.

REID: That's some great reporting, Jeremy. And as we know the administration has availed itself of continuing that moratorium that went into place during COVID as they try to sort out some of the student loan policies. So much uncertainty.

But amid all this uncertainty a few celebrations at the White House this weekend -- a big birthday and a wedding at the White House. What can you tell us?

DIAMOND: Yes, that's right. The president's granddaughter Naomi Biden getting married yesterday here at the White House. Now we should note that despite past precedent, reporters were not allowed to attend this wedding for any portion which has been tradition when other presidential weddings have taken place here.

Nonetheless, that wedding the president attended, you can see some of the photos there. And today is also his 80th birthday. President Biden becoming the first octogenarian president of the United States.


DIAMOND: Now, two sources familiar with the planning told our colleague Kate Bennett that it's no coincidence that that wedding was held on the same weekend as the president's birthday, perhaps trying to overshadow festivities for the birthday which have been kept pretty low key here.

The president is enjoying his birthday with his family, a family brunch that was planned at the White House by the first lady. But there's no question that it's an awkward subject for the president. His age has become an issue of political attacks, of course, a number of Americans including a majority of Democrats who, while they approve of President Biden's job in office, they would like to see somebody else, they say, in poll after poll, run for the Democratic nomination in 2024.

Nonetheless, President Biden has said it is his intention to run for re-election again, and when pressed on those questions about his age, he says, look at me, look at what I've done. He points to his record of accomplishments over these last two years. That's what he did in an interview with our colleague Jake Tapper a

couple of months and that's the posture of this White House going forward, Paula.

REID: All right. Jeremy Diamond, thank you so much.

And coming up, the controversial World Cup in Qatar is now officially under way. The host nation making history in today's opening game, but not in a good way.

And wait until you hear what the opposing fans were chanting in the crowd.




REID: Russia and Ukraine are blaming each other for this weekend's shelling in and around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. The International Atomic Energy Agency said more than a dozen blasts shook the area. The plant is currently under Russian military control and the area had previously seen heavy fighting.

Let's bring in Kimberly Dozier. She is a CNN global affairs analyst and an international fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations.

All right, Kimberly. Now, both sides are pointing fingers. How do we assess what happened here?

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, the hard part is that you're talking to the combatants on either side and having to take their version of events and Russia has traditionally not been very believable when we've looked at what we can brief by U.S. and NATO officials afterwards when they've had military assets in the area to try to read what's going where. One of the problems is, we don't have U.S. or NATO troops on the ground or close enough with their own counter battery radars to be able to track where some of this artillery and missile fire is coming from.

Traditionally, as I said, the Russians haven't been very believable, according to the previous track record. The problem is, the Ukrainians, after that recent apparently accidental missile strike hit in Poland and killed two farmers, the president came out so strongly, President Zelenskyy carriages out so strongly and said we didn't do it, that now that Poland is investigating and NATO officials are saying it actually looks like it might have been an accidental Ukrainian missile battery firing that makes it harder to believe Zelenskyy in other situations when he said the Russians are lying and we're telling the truth.

REID: Really hard to know who is telling the truth here. Russia, of course, has accused Ukraine of war crimes this week. There have, of course, been accusations against Russia almost since the war began. Does the U.S. and NATO -- did they have to be more forceful in trying to prevent these incidents?

DOZIER: Well, the U.N. has indicated it has reports of abuses of Russian prisoners of war and from the officials we've spoken to over the past months, and also some reporting on the ground, there has been video of Ukrainian troops abusing Russian prisoners of war. The scale, of course, is not nearly what we've heard has been committed by Russian forces either from eyewitnesses or people who suffered at their hands and given their own account.

But next steps are what we have to see from the Ukrainian army and the Ukrainian government is that they seek to root out this behavior because in the past, when I've covered different conflicts, those U.S. and other officials who will say, hey, we found wrongdoing in our own ranks, here's what happened, here are the steps that we've taken, then the next time there's a fog of war situation where you don't know who to believe, you're going to believe that person who stepped into the punch previously and, you know, that's what a mature military does. They say sometimes we get it wrong.

REID: All about credibility. Now, Ukraine says power has been restored to millions after it was knocked out in a Russian attack this week. Is that a pattern that's been repeating for a while now? That seems like it has been a pattern. How much longer can Ukraine keep fixing destroyed infrastructure?

DOZIER: It's tough and it's going to keep getting tougher because with an electricity grid, it's a very complicated system and you target enough of it, it gets hard to keep it consistently flowing. I think that's one of the reasons you see the Ukrainian government offering to relocate civilians out of the recently recaptured Kherson region because they want to save their resources and focus them on a smaller area where civilians are and also to keep the supply lines open for the military in embattled areas, but not have to worry about civilians in the crossfire where they can.

REID: Kim Dozier, thank you so much for joining us.

DOZIER: Thank you.


REID: An Iranian court says it sentenced a sixth person to death accused of taking part in recent protests. Now the news agency reports the court handed its sentence down to a protester who said to have blocked traffic during a demonstration and clashed with militia members. This comes as news of nationwide protests dominated headlines sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in September, despite threats of arrests, Iranian celebrities and athletes have stepped forward to support anti-government protests in the country.

And coming up, another blow to Qatar's controversial hosting of the World Cup. They just lost their first game. The opposing fans have had a field day with the country's ban on booze in stadiums.

But first, 11 years ago, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head meeting with constituents in a grocery store parking lot. Now, the new CNN film "Gabby Giffords won't back down" takes viewers inside her relentless fight to recover from her 2011 assassination attempt and her new life as one of the most effective advocates in the battle against gun violence.

Here's a preview.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joining us now is Representative Gabrielle Giffords.

GIFFORDS: It's an idea, is a good idea. It's a good idea.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Congresswoman Giffords was a target of a mass shooting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's beginning several months of rehab.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give me two fingers. All right. Give me five.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are not allowed to quit on me.

ANDRESON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good news about Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. She was discharged today.

GIFFORDS: The words are there in my brain. I just can't get them out.

SEN. MARK KELLY (D-AZ): She laughs at my jokes, even when they're bad.

GIFFORDS: Funny, funny.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gabby Giffords, making her way back to the Capitol --

GIFFORDS: Too many children are dying. We must do something.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: Nobody could've been more compelling than Gabby was that day.

ANNOUNCER: "Gabby Giffords Won't Back Down", tonight at 9:00, only on CNN.




REID: And it's finally upon us. After years of controversy, weeks of buildup and anticipation, the World Cup in Qatar is now under way. The first match ended just a short time ago. The host nation taking on Ecuador to open the tournament. Qatar, though, coming up short falling 2-0 and becoming first host nation in World Cup history to lose the opening game. Joining us now, CNN sports analyst and sports columnist for "USA

Today", Christine Brennan.

All right. Christine, thank you so much for joining us. We saw the star-studded opening ceremony. Morgan Freeman and a member of the K- pop group BTS all took part, but this comes on the backdrop of many human rights, very serious human rights controversies. How worried are you that as this tournament unfolds, that these concerns about human rights will take a back seat to the matches and the excitement and the glamour of the World Cup?

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Paula, I think that the story lines that we've had before the World Cup, now, of course, 12 years in the making, with Qatar being named controversially all the way back in 2010, I think the story lines will continue. Some of the players will bring them up. There will be continuing stories of fans, people protesting, conversations.

So I don't think this will die, just as we saw, for example, with the Beijing Olympics in February, the story lines there, whether COVID, whether it was human rights violations, they kept going throughout the games. I think this will be the same scenario here for the World Cup.

REID: FIFA and Qatar have been trying very hard to control the narrative around this tournament. They haven't been very successful. During today's match, Ecuador fans had their own ideas and they were heard chanting, we want beer. Of course, that's a response to the host country's decision to ban alcohol sales at games on Friday, also troubling for the sponsor Budweiser.

But even though you can control clubs, you can't control the fans.

So, how worried should FIFA be that fans are not going to really stop continuing to push these other controversies swirling around the tournament?

BRENNAN: You know, Paula, this is the 21st century. We're well into it now. And so, FIFA should be very concerned and deservedly so. They deserve every controversy that ends up landing on their shoulders.

And, for example, I saw a Twitter conversation going on with some of my colleagues, some there, some not, where are the women in the stands. That is a very valid conversation. The sport of soccer has tried to attract women as players, as fans, now several decades.

The United States is a complete success with the U.S. women's national team which has many world cups and Olympic gold medals. Around the world that's a huge issue. If you seen one or two women in the stands as were shown in different shots of the crowd during the first match, that is a conversation point. That is a very valid issue to discuss. Where are the women?

That's something I'm happy to discuss and continue to talk about because that's not only about an issue that we care about, but that's an issue that the entire world should care about to grow the game and, of course, women's rights, LBGTQ rights. We'll see the U.S. team, the men's national team, display. There will be a rainbow shield at parties and in other kind of big events, not on the uniform, but these issues are important and sports always takes us to national conversations that we really should have or international conversations that we should have, and that will be the case here as well.


REID: That's a great point and easy to joke about where is the beer. But the absence of women, larger human rights concerns, really important conversations. Now, when it comes down to the games themselves, the U.S. team begins playing tomorrow. They're taking on Wales in the opening match. So what should fans here at home expect to see in that matchup?

BRENNAN: This is a young, energetic team. They have, of course, were not in the World Cup four years ago. It's been eight years for the men's national team between world cups. That allowed this team to kind of recharge and change and get better and bring in new players.

And I think the U.S. is going to be a very attractive team to watch, and fans will tune in. The question, of course, in the midst of the fall and thanksgiving, the tournament, of course, was moved a few years ago because of the extreme heat in the summer months in Qatar, but the reality is, we'll see a few U.S. fans rally around this team. I think they will in the midst of college football and pro football, the bread and butter for most sports fans at this time of year. It plays Wales and then England right after Thanksgiving. That is going to be a match that I think a lot of people will be watching.

REID: Yeah. It will be hard to change the association with the other football around Thanksgiving. Look, what are the chances the U.S. makes it out of group play into the round of 16?

BRENNAN: I think they're pretty good. The U.S. men's national team has got a lot better. These are a lot of guys who have played overseas. They're playing in the top leagues around the world now. It's not the old days where the U.S. was kind of an island and only a few of the guys played overseas professionally.

So, I think the U.S. could do that, sure. It's not an easy group. It's Iran and then Wales and England, but to be one of the two to emerge out of there, I think that could happen. I think, again, because we have very different feeling about this men's national team, by the way, team that fought hard, Paula, for the women's national team to get equal pay.

These are Title IX males. This is the boy next door you've watched grow up. They are very much representative of our nation in all ways, not just on the field of play, but in terms of societal issues.

REID: Well, best of luck to Team USA.

And, Christine Brennan, thank you so much for joining us.

BRENNAN: Paula, thank you. Still ahead, heavy snow is expected to keep piling up in Western New

York after a historic storm that logged record snowfall of more than 6 feet in some areas. We'll go live to buffalo, next.


REID: Snow continues to pummel western New York with nearly 6 million people still under a winter weather alert. Now, some areas could see up to an extra foot of snow just today. The National Weather Service warns strong winds could produce extremely heavy snow at a rate up to three inches an hour.

Already, the massive storm dumped more than six feet of snow in parts of western New York.

CNN's Polo Sandoval is live in Buffalo.

All right, Polo, looks like you're keeping warm with that hat on. What's the latest where you are?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Paula. So, we traveled to Buffalo's engineering division to answer the question, what do you do with all that snow dumped by a historic snowstorm? You store it, right?

So right behind me is a massive mound of snow. This is part of the city of Buffalo's massive operation with about 100 pieces of equipment out on the streets, scooping up all of that snow left behind in the city's neighborhoods and loaded on the dump strikes you s see here, and each truck carrying about 30 tons.

We have seen, even though you're seeing one right now, but just a constant parade of these s dump trucks coming to this facility, dumping their snow and that bulldozer then does its job to basically just compact it all in and then try to make more room for more of the snow that's coming in.

I want you to hear directly from public works commissioner here in the city of Buffalo, and as he explains why you can't just sort of plow this out of the way and leave it there.


NATE MARTON, COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC WORKS, CITY OF BUFFALO: A snowfall like this where it was a warmer temperature -- warmer lake temperature, cold air really was a heavy, wet snow. So not only is this the height, the sheer height of the snow in parts of the city of Buffalo, south Buffalo and Kaiser town, we get about four feet almost, roughly right around there.

That volume of snow at that weight, that density, makes it too heavy to push. Plow trucks can't even move that. So at that point in time, you're forced to do that removable process. So, we would love to be able to push snow, and we do that for the normal snowfall in the town, but this removed us to that removal process.


SANDOVAL: So, really, this visual tells you everything, yes, Buffalo is used to getting big know events. But, again, we keep hearing over and over here that nothing of this kind of volume. So, this is kind of fixture that doesn't happen very often.

And there are very similar operations happening, not just here in Buffalo, but surrounding cities just south of here in Orchard Park where they received a total of 6 1/2 feet, I should say at least 6 1/2 feet. This snow, by the way, is going to be around for months possibly into the summer. Back to you.

REID: When the people of buffalo say it's a bad storm, you know it's really bad. Polo, will they let you -- will they let you slide back there on that hill? It's a pretty good looking sliding hill?

SANDOVAL: I'm hoping to try that, but I don't think they'll -- I don't think they'll let me.

REID: All right. Just watch out for the trucks.


Thank you so much for your reporting.


REID: Now for a story that should warm everyone's hearts. Cameras at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas captured the heartwarming moment a chimp mom reunited with her baby. Doctors say they had to take it away due to low oxygen levels at birth. As soon as the mother sees her baby, she rushes to pick him up and hold on tightly.

Now, zoo officials say the mother had to undergo a C-section Tuesday and was separated for her newborn two days. Now, the zoo released this picture of the new baby boy. Look at him. Zoo officials say his mother is recovering well. Hold that baby really tight, momma chimp.

Thanks for joining me today. I'm Paula Reid in for Fredricka Whitfield. More news after a quick break.